Tanya Tandoc

Restaurant Review
5:00 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Passage to India

If you want spicy, complex, and savory cuisine, Indian food will fit the bill perfectly. It can be chili-hot or creamy and mild, meaty or completely vegan, and diverse enough for even the most jaded palate to enjoy. I love the diversity of Indian cuisine, from spice-coated tandoori oven chicken to crispy fried samosas. One can spend a lifetime discovering its nuances.

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Restaurant Review
5:00 am
Fri January 13, 2012

The Donut Whole

About four years ago, my friend Michael Carmody sent me a text: “Hot homemade doughnuts and coffee, my house, right now.” Of course, I dropped everything and rushed over. He had made a lovely batch of buttermilk doughnuts with cinnamon sugar, hot and delicious, and fresh coffee to wash them down. Several other friends had gathered to try them and they were gone in minutes. Over the course of the next year, Michael made thousands of test doughnuts to share with his friends, perfecting his recipes and creating an underground doughnut sensation.

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Restaurant Review
5:00 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Usuluteco

Pupusas with pickled cabbage and sauce

Okay, friends, get your GPS navigators set for 1714 East Northern Street in Wichita. At the end of your trip you will be at Usuluteco, a fantastic Salvadoran restaurant located just off Hydraulic, south of Pawnee. Salvadoran food is delicious, a recognizable cousin to Mexican cuisine, but with its own distinct character—a bit more subtle, without the same chili-garlic-tomato-cilantro bang of Mexican food, but perfect in simplicity.

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Obituary
5:00 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Rich Vliet and Norma Sowell

I have been very sad this week. Two of my first and best mentors have died. Rich Vliet and Norma Sowell have been friends, teachers and touchstones for me from the very beginning of my professional culinary career. Both were incredibly supportive, delightful, determined people with vision. Both impressed me deeply and I’m going to miss them so much.

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Restaurant Review
5:00 am
Fri December 2, 2011

Bella Luna Cafe

I’m sure you all have heard the phrase, “The Cobbler’s children have no shoes.” Sadly for my family, the chef’s children have no food. In the house, that is. I haven’t been to the grocery store in weeks. Something has died in my refrigerator, which is an entire ecosystem I am only marginally in charge of. It’s like Biosphere 2 in there. Our pantry looks like a tornado hit the Asian market and left ravaged bags of rice noodles and shiitake mushrooms scattered everywhere. I just have not had time to cook at home lately.

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Food
5:00 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Food Essays

I devour books. When I find one I love I’ll read it cover to cover, as fast as I can, and all other activities pale in comparison. I have a particular passion for food essays that started when I was a little girl. I would read about exotic places and food and imagine myself eating it, and then beg my mother to make whatever it was I was reading about. She was busy, though, so she let me try to cook some of it myself.

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Food
5:00 am
Fri November 4, 2011

Tanya's Connecticut Food Vacation

I just returned to Kansas after a week in Connecticut. I went for a bellydance teacher training and was hosted by a friend who grew up here, but has since put roots down on the East Coast. My friend Pajes and her family made sure that I got a good sample of the wonderful food from the area…and there was lots of it. They are blessed with proximity to New York City, so their standards are very high and there was incredible diversity of choices, from Moroccan to regional Italian and the some of the best pizza I have ever eaten.

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Restaurant Review
5:00 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Chester's Chophouse

I don’t normally go to really expensive restaurants, for no other reason than I am usually too broke to do so. If a meal costs as much as a pair of cute heels, I will almost always choose the shoes. Most of the food I’m drawn to is inexpensive, spicy, and can be eaten standing up. I love great food at any cost, though, so once in a great while, we go crazy and splurge on something really special.

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Restaurant Review
5:00 am
Fri October 7, 2011

Bocconcini

Italian food is almost universally accepted as America’s Favorite Ethnic Food. It’s so mainstream nowadays that we forget that as few as 50 years ago it was considered a very foreign cuisine. We are so saturated with pizza in Wichita (Italian cuisine’s gateway drug) that we have acquired a taste for tomato sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella. We love spaghetti and meatballs and lasagna. We want our pasta drenched in sauce and cheese. This Americanized Italian food is delicious, don’t get me wrong. I grew up on Ragu sauce with Kraft Parmesan cheese and ground beef meatballs.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Restaurant Review: Kanai

Sushi has been the subject of many a dinner negotiation. I adore sushi and will bargain outrageously with my non-sushi-loving family to get to go eat it. I’ll promise to fold laundry, or dance a little jig, or even listen to Steely Dan to get to eat sushi. They have gamely tried to enjoy it but it’s just too weird for them. Too cold, too many textures, the unforgivable presence of seaweed…not to mention the raw fish part.  That just puts it over the edge.

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